10 June 2011

Unmedicated, Take 2, Part 3

This is the final "installment" of my Unmedicated series. I wanted to get my general birthing stories down somewhere before I completely forgot about the details. In the next few weeks, two women I know will be giving birth naturally. Hearing about their excitement and concerns makes me a little nostalgic for my own birthing experiences.

I asked my doula to meet us at the house before we headed to the hospital. I thought I could stay home for awhile longer. However, by the time she arrived, we were loading up the car. The contractions were INTENSE! It was about 4:30 a.m. at that point and luckily Nate's dad was in town. Right before we left for the hospital, Nate woke his dad up. It was such a luxury not to have to worry about getting someone to take care of Benny at that hour of the morning.

The drive to the hospital was shorter this time around - and NO speed bumps! However, when we arrived at the hospital, we discovered that the triage area was completely full. I stood in the waiting room with two other moms waiting to be seen by a triage nurse to determine if I could be checked in to the hospital. We waited and waited and waited. Of the three women in labor, I was having the most intense contractions in the waiting room. My doula earned her fee that night. She was insistent that I be seen right away.

Finally, a nurse arrived from the delivery floor to escort all of the overflow moms to be examined upstairs. We discovered, however, that the elevator was not operational because someone had burned a bag of popcorn (no kidding) and set off a fire alarm. The nurse led us to another elevator - but we had to walk through the emergency room to get there. When we got to an examining room, the nurse checked my progress. I was at seven centimeters! Wooo hooo! Like my doula had been saying all along, "This woman is in labor!"

I was quickly transferred to a delivery room. It was about 5:30 a.m. An hour after we left our house! The nurse strapped on a baby monitor and declared that I would have to remain connected to the baby monitor because the heart beat was not regular. No getting up and swaying my hips this time. At that point, I was pretty exhausted and I was happy to stay curled up on a ball on the bed. Nate rubbed my hair, like a good birthing partner, and my doula offered me water after every contraction. Things were progressing nicely.

I'm not going to lie, there were three or four distinct contractions I remember considering an epidural. But those moments passes quickly. This time around I knew that contractions would end eventually. The pain was relatively short-lived in the grand scheme of things. And it's amazing what some deep breathing and low groaning will do to relieve the pain. It really is. I was completely present for this birth. I remember everything much more clearly, including the pain.

After about 45 minutes of contractions, I was ready to push. Nate said he knew things were getting serious when the room filled quickly with nurses and two doctors. I probably pushed three times in 10 minutes and Lila was out. She cried and I cried. The nurses placed Lila on my chest and everyone exited the room quickly. The doula stayed with us for about an hour after the birth to make sure Lila latched on and we were set.

Lila latched on right away and then she fell asleep - for the rest of the day! We couldn't get her to wake up to eat for over 14 hours!Once we were settled in our recovery room, Nate left for the evening to spend it with Benny. Lila was up most of the night, of course! She was amazing and lovely. She has completed our family in a way I never could have imagined. We are so happy to be a family of four now.

Lila Marie Brown, September 27, 2010
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